Smotrich Urges Further Delay in Local Elections Amid Ongoing War

By Aryeh Stern

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich during a plenum session at the assembly hall of the Knesset, Wednesday. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, head of the Religious Zionism party, on Wednesday requested that Interior Minister Moshe Arbel postpone the nationwide municipal elections once again. Smotrich said that a large number of his party’s candidates are currently serving in the IDF reserves, hampering their ability to conduct effective election campaigns.

Earlier this week, Arbel had scheduled municipal elections for Jan. 30, 2024, in most cities, with a later date intended for areas evacuated due to conflicts along the southern and northern fronts.

Smotrich highlighted that 62% of Religious Zionism’s candidates for municipal positions are presently engaged in reserve duty, impacting campaigns in 66 municipalities where the party has candidates. This includes nearly a quarter of the party’s nominees for mayor or local council head.

Smotrich emphasized the need to delay the elections until the end of the war. He stressed the importance of conducting fair elections that do not disadvantage individuals actively involved in defending Israel and its people, saying, “We must ensure proper elections that do not discriminate against those who fight and sacrifice their lives for the State of Israel and the people of Israel.”

The original nationwide election date was initially set for Oct. 31.

To Read The Full Story

Are you already a subscriber?
Click to log in!